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Full text of "History And Human Relation"

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spirit of scientific enquiry—the desire to learn the truth
whatever the consequences—is a recognisable thing;
and we can discern it in a particular manner in that wosk
of the 1920*8 to which reference has been made. It is
the subsequent writers who so often make it clear that
they are writing the history with their eye on a certain
policy that they desire for the present; so that con-
stantly' somebody is trying to bluff us into forgetting
the distinction between historical enquiry and political
propaganda, though the distinction is a palpable on$,
and the modes of procedure are widely divergent.
Finally, if an hysterical cry goes up when a person
questions the popular or prevailing views on the origins
of the war of 1914—if a Nazi-like howl is raised when
anybody recalls the views of some of the writers in the
late 1920*5, and historical problems are settled by nick-
naming the offender as a " pro-German "—this itself is
a sign and proof that the times are not fitted for sober
enquiry or judicious decision. Indeed, one must have
grave misgivings concerning any contemporary history
that is produced in such an atmosphere.


A second World War, on the top of what I have de-
scribed, has produced in the field of contemporary
history a situation not without its disquieting features.
Even before the end of the war a mere outsider could
hardly escape the impression that governments were
preparing to race one another in the endeavour to state